What's Floating Around

What’s Floating Around Cloud 9? Week Commencing 19 June 2017

meetpie

Welcome to another week and following last weeks successful visit to the Meetings Show, our recent post on the Mailbag Section of Meetpie may have been a little hasty! Just in case you hadn’t seen it, let us remind you of what Paula wrote….

Why Don’t We Count?

 There seems to be an increasing and troubling trend among some of the bigger venue and hotel chains to remove a direct contact or account manager from servicing smaller or independent agencies – or those whose annual spend does not reach a dictated level.

While we fully appreciate that suppliers only have so much time and resource to service independent agencies, it seems terribly short-sighted to adopt this policy. We’re not asking to be cosseted or even for a quarterly review, but knowing that you have a direct and reliable contact makes all the difference for most venue finders. Our industry is all about people after all.

The popularity of social media sites does make finding someone suitable to help you with an enquiry much easier, but a working relationship built on trust is far more valuable than a name on a Facebook group.

Many boutique agencies, including ours, don’t have preferred supplier lists and we don’t work to override contracts as our business is based on finding the right fit for the right brief, irrespective of the client. Our spend with some of the larger chains might be erratic and this may well be a situation that many independent agencies share. On this basis can the larger chains really abandon us? Who knows what business they might miss out on if it’s a collective issue. I know we’re far more likely to steer a client towards a venue with whom we have a contact, so any potential issues or problems can be quickly addressed – and – I’d far rather speak to someone I’ve met than ring a central call centre who don’t consider our enquiry with the same priority as some of the bigger agencies.

Business for many agencies like ours is fluid and the right brief for one of the bigger chains might hit our desk tomorrow – but if we don’t count, then you won’t either.

So the reason for this little rant from our erstwhile leader was that we had an enquiry, we knew a suitable venue but we couldn’t find a suitable contact to speak to with regards to our RFP. Central sales units are all well and good, but if you phone back, it’s unlikely you get to speak with the same person twice and whilst you can of course go direct to a hotel, this is not always easy when the enquiry is for international business.

I know this is a view taken by many small agencies, and fortunately, events like the Meetings Show, do help us to discover just who we should be talking with – especially at some of the larger chains.

That said, a little rant now and again is probably good for the soul!

Have a great week.